Armstrong Economics Blog/Interest Rates Re-Posted Jul 9, 2021 by Martin Armstrong
QUESTION: Why is the Fed doing so much Reverse Repo? Do you think it will hit $2 trillion?
ANSWER: I understand that people seem to be talking up the reverse repo activity as doom and gloom. The Federal Reserve has been raising interest rates and boosted the return to fight inflation. The reverse repo facility takes in cash primarily from money-market funds, as well as government-sponsored companies and banks. This facility offered a return of zero percent to eligible users previously, and then the Fed moved it up to 0.05%, while at the same time lifting another rate, called the interest on excess reserves rate to 0.15% from 0.10%. The Fed is actually competing against the US Treasury in taking in cash, which is diverting it from government debt.
What the Fed does not understand because it is beyond their control are the international capital flows. Raising rates to fight domestic inflation is attracting capital from Europe, where banks are charged negative interest rates if they have excess cash. They open a branch in the USA and then send the excess cash to the state, and then they put it at the Fed. In this manner, the Fed has no idea how much money they are actually attracting globally.
I helped the Japanese lower their trade surplus by simply buying gold in New York, taking delivery, shipping it to London, and then selling it and starting all over again constantly. The trade statistics only measure dollars — not goods. You can buy a hot dog and have it delivered in London, and that too would reduce the trade surplus. It’s all a numbers game, and those in government have no ability to figure out the real world.
The statistics they created with Bretton Woods were all based on the currency which was fixed. So if you created more dollars, that was inflationary. But in a floating exchange rate system, if you create 10% more dollars but the dollar declines by 20%, guess what? It ain’t inflation but deflation!
People’s thinking has been compromised by the very way the government sets up everything. We would allocate trade at our firm according to the flag the company flew. That showed the US never had a trade deficit. It eas US companies setting up offshore and importing their own goods. I testified before Congress on all of this in 1996. So much for trade wars of misguided ideas of the world we live in.
The Fed is raising rates trying to soak up excess cash in the system BECAUSE that cash is not going into long-term bonds. Instead, we see even mortgage rates have declined under 2% because capital is shifting from PUBLIC to PRIVATE. Major capital has been turning to the mortgage market for there they have collateral wherewith government debt they have nothing but a political promise.
Yes, there will be others now claiming this is their idea. But unless you actually made the trades and really consulted with governments to solve problems, you will never come up with the answer without experience. Thank you to all the people who point out those who plagiarize what I write like clockwork. All I can say is that reveals people who are just not trustworthy. So, let’s see how long it takes others to claim they thought this up in the shower.